Romania imports cash from Europe to cover high retail demand for euro
Romania has had to bring in euro bills from other European countries by plane this week amid high demand for euro cash at exchange offices in the country's northern and eastern regions, according to a local bank executive.
The rising demand for euro bills is linked to the numerous Ukrainian refugees who have entered the country in the last week after Russia invaded their country. However, the Romanian banks have no problems in providing the necessary liquidity if clients demand it, according to Bogdan Neacsu, president of state-owned lender CEC Bank and head of the Romanian Banks' Association (ARB).
"We make sure we have the resources to meet customer demands, the system works, and the money is brought to the counters," Neacsu told local Ziarul Financiar.
"If there are isolated and temporary cases (of cash shortages – e.n.), they will be solved, but at the level of the system there are no problems, the banks have sufficient liquidity in lei and foreign currency, which they can mobilize very quickly," he added.
Some smaller exchange offices located close to Romania's border points with Ukraine ran out of cash this week amid high demand, but banks have plenty of liquidity, the ARB head said.
"Many of the foreign exchange offices are small, independent operators. And they were not prepared to cover the additional need for cash in foreign currency. They either raised the rates or came to the banks to buy cash. Hence the perception of apparent shortages, when we are talking about logistics syncope in the supply chain."
The official EUR/RON exchange rate has recorded almost no fluctuation in the last week and remained under the threshold of RON 5 for one euro.
Neacsu says that Romania hasn't recorded any massive capital outflows since the start of the war in Ukraine.
"I do not expect such a thing considering that Romania's investments and trade relations with the eastern area have a limited impact," he concluded.
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